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80's Superman - DC Comics Message Boards
Author Topic:   80's Superman
The Progenitor
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posted January 16, 2002 02:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for The Progenitor   Click Here to Email The Progenitor
well i dont know if its been done but i am looking for favourite storylines and artwork and so on(much like the 70's thread, which is excellent)
i enjoyed early 80's stuff before Crisis, after Crisis Superman to me wasnt the same. I really enjoyed a LOT of the pre crisis 80's Superman and these are some of the stories that really stand out from the 80's.oh and i just can tell storylines, i regrettfully cant tell which issue or series.

The new Luthor, for me that story rocked, Luthors armour was fantastic, the story was fantastic and i kept saying Wow they blew up Luthor's planet.

The new braniac, i liked that they changed him into a colder more modern version of the old brainiac.

Satanus, another killer story, to me one of THE CLASSICS, it had everything and i anticipated every issue, and it was going on for what seemed forever,Superman split in two and i would pick up an issue and go "is this part of the stroryline?", and then i would read it and go HOLY CRAP.

Well thats just a few to start off. let me what you of the Pre cisis 90's Superman

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The Progenitor
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posted January 16, 2002 09:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for The Progenitor   Click Here to Email The Progenitor
hmmmmm

am i the only one that enjoyed many of the pre crisis 80's stories?

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wbrentleigh
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posted January 16, 2002 09:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wbrentleigh   Click Here to Email wbrentleigh
Actually, you're not alone. The pre-Crisis Superman of the 80s is my favourite version of the Man of Steel as well. I feel he "came of age" during this period, without having significant portions of his history retconned or erased.

It was a great era filled with some fabulous stories. In addition to Brainiac and post-Lexor Luthor, villains like Mongul and the Parasite were far better written than they are today. All that talk about Supes being "too powerful" to challenge is nonsense. It took skilled writers to challenge him effective, was all.

And as for character development, there was plenty, especially with Marv Wolfman's run on Action Comics. Its a shame that DC had to hop on the revisionist tangent and destroy Superman's legacy. By this era even the so-called "Silver Age" elements that modern readers despise so much were being used sparingly (or not at all) or were handled in such a way to make them contemporary, without completely retconning them.

Anyway, long post, but I really like this version of the Man of Steel, and would enjoy keeping this thread going with discussions about the characters, stories, and "what-if" scenarios from that time.

cheers!
wbl

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India Ink
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posted January 16, 2002 11:17 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for India Ink
I'd be willing to support this thread--once I get my head out of the seventies...

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Ink's links:

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for Superman in the 70s:
http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/files/Forum30/HTML/004040.html

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SOLARLORD
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posted January 16, 2002 11:37 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SOLARLORD   Click Here to Email SOLARLORD
Some of my earliest comics are from that era. They've been lost now but I vividly remember the great artwork from Gil Kane at the time.

Some great stuff with Lex Luthor in the armor and the new creepy metallic android Brainiac.

If anyone knows where I can get a hold of these comics, let me know.

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SOLARLORD
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posted January 17, 2002 05:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for SOLARLORD   Click Here to Email SOLARLORD
bump

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wbrentleigh
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posted January 17, 2002 08:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for wbrentleigh   Click Here to Email wbrentleigh
Yep, its a good topic, and I'd like to go on about it (you still out there, Progenitor), but not tonight,alas.

I'm *really* enjoying your posts on the 70s Superman, India, and hope some of us can do the same kind of thing on this thread, I mean, if anyone is interested, of course.

I'll try to get some stuff up tomorrow re: storylines or discussion ideas.

Til then (I can't resist this, cheesy, I know) remember to--

--look, up in the sky!

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Duplicate Man
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posted January 17, 2002 08:47 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Duplicate Man
Unfortunatly, I missed most of the 80's. I stopped reading comics about 1982 and didn't resume until 92. I have a couple of back issues from that period, but not much.

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India Ink
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posted January 17, 2002 09:11 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for India Ink
Believe it or not, because I was moving around with the navy and then going to university in Edmonton, there were times when I wasn't able to buy comics. My run of Action and even DC Comics Presents gets kinda spotty in '84, '85. I'm even missing some Supermans.

I'd be interested to read about some of the issues I missed--especially in DCCP which was one of the best titles in the early eighties.

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The Progenitor
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posted January 17, 2002 10:24 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for The Progenitor   Click Here to Email The Progenitor
quote:
Originally posted by India Ink:

I'd be interested to read about some of the issues I missed--especially in DCCP which was one of the best titles in the early eighties.

DCCP was an excellent read, i loved the SUPEMAN/GREEN LANTERN story, superman and firestorm, superman and the flash.
they gave a superman reader who really wanted to buy all the other DC comics a chance to see these characters in a story the reader of superman would enjoy. at the end of DCCP it kinda got weak, i had a love/hate relationship with the final issue with the phantom zoners, i liked the story yet hated it cause it was so far from what i wanted to happen to the ZONERS.

------------------
Superheroes
Giant freaks
Tear apart the evil
To save the weak
Superheroes
Tell no lies
See all that's true
Though mutant minds

RACER X - SUPERHEROES

http://www.racerxband.com/main.html

THE SUPERHEROES OF ROCK AND ROLL

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GernotCarl
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posted January 18, 2002 02:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for GernotCarl   Click Here to Email GernotCarl
I would love to see the Luthor, Brainiac, and Lord Satanus stories in TPBs. That 1982 serial was especially fun!

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India Ink
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posted January 18, 2002 07:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for India Ink
When did Lord Satanus first appear in the Superman stories?

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The Progenitor
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posted January 18, 2002 09:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for The Progenitor   Click Here to Email The Progenitor
damn, see i never know the issue number, but it was in actiion comics believe.
i know, thanks for no help at all, i hope i can dig it up before someone poss

------------------
Superheroes
Giant freaks
Tear apart the evil
To save the weak
Superheroes
Tell no lies
See all that's true
Though mutant minds

RACER X - SUPERHEROES

http://www.racerxband.com/main.html

THE SUPERHEROES OF ROCK AND ROLL

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The Progenitor
Member
posted January 18, 2002 11:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for The Progenitor   Click Here to Email The Progenitor
action comics 527, 1982

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Superheroes
Giant freaks
Tear apart the evil
To save the weak
Superheroes
Tell no lies
See all that's true
Though mutant minds

RACER X - SUPERHEROES

http://www.racerxband.com/main.html

THE SUPERHEROES OF ROCK AND ROLL

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India Ink
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posted January 18, 2002 11:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for India Ink
Thanks.

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Village Idiot
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posted January 18, 2002 11:56 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Village Idiot   Click Here to Email Village Idiot
I went on about this recently on another thread. I filled in some of the holes in the Marv Wolfman "Superman is Split in Two" storyline in Action comics. Great stuff, great period: many of the Silver Age trapping were there, but the stories beared the undeniable mark of increasing depth and sophistication.

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The Progenitor
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posted January 19, 2002 09:28 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for The Progenitor   Click Here to Email The Progenitor
Sobbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

Bump

------------------
Superheroes
Giant freaks
Tear apart the evil
To save the weak
Superheroes
Tell no lies
See all that's true
Though mutant minds

RACER X - SUPERHEROES

http://www.racerxband.com/main.html

THE SUPERHEROES OF ROCK AND ROLL

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India Ink
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posted January 20, 2002 11:38 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for India Ink
Given we've been wondering about a possible Sandman Saga collection over on the "Superman in the 70s" thread, I have my doubts about seeing any big collections of late seventies or early eighties Superman.

If DC is holding back on the Saga because it might confuse post-Crisis readers, how much more confusing would it be if there were stories published about pre-Crisis Mongul or Lord Satanus?

And yet I think the work of Starlin, Swan/Williamson, Garcia Lopez, Pasko, Wolfman, and Gil Kane ought to have a new audience.

It would be a lamentable fate if this work was never reprinted (at least for a great long while) because it was actually TOO much like the post-Crisis in terms of quality.

Indeed will Newell and Gray's Lois Lane ever see reprint life in a slim volume?

Nope--I can see the big brass in their offices declaring, "this stuff is too good--we can't print it!"

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Lildeath
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posted January 21, 2002 02:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lildeath   Click Here to Email Lildeath
I had a zillion comicbooks from the early 80s. My dad went to a garage sale one day and picked up a bunch of boxes of comicbooks that some guy was getting rid of. Superman was the star attraction of those boxes.

My feeling, as I was reading them, was this it was sub-standard stuff.

Part of it was Curt Swan's artwork. It simply doesn't work for me. Too bland and two-dimensional. It had its good points, and everything I've read about Curt Swan indicates he was a cool guy, but that artistic style just bored me to tears.

Another part of it was the dialogue and the pacing of the stories. Just plain weak stuff. It had little oomph. It felt, in all honesty, like all the creativity had been drawn out of Superman a long time ago.

And it wasn't just a symptom of that era. There were some great comicbooks running around at that time. X-Men was really becoming interesting. Spider-Man seemed to have a neverending cycle of bad luck that was fascinating to watch. Detective Comics was full of cool art and cooler stories.

It's something that seems to happen to Superman periodically. It wasn't just that period, but also everything between 1993 and 1998 (basically between Death and Superman Rex). I guess other characters have had the same problem at times, I just didn't care that much.

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India Ink
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posted January 22, 2002 04:33 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for India Ink
I realize that some people don't like certain stories, while others do.

That's the nature of the imaginative process. Someone is always going to create art that appeals to one person while it has nothing to say to another person.

There's no shame in that.

But Progenitor and other boarders deserve to have a forum where they can discuss those stories they liked (and even the ones they hated)--which is why I will continue to bump up this thread.

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India Ink
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posted January 28, 2002 05:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for India Ink
I posted this on the 70s thread, but I thought I'd also post it here, given it involves something that I regard as important to the 80s...

Kurt Schaffenberger never had a bad day.

Most artists have had those days when they weren't on their game, but Schaffenberger? Never!

Even a bad inking job could hardly dim the obvious talent of the penciller. And the best inker for Kurt was himslef--although Dave Hunt and Dan Adkins served Kurt's pencils well. I''ve been going through my Superman Family stack and it's almost impossible to find a single issue that doesn't have one good Schaffenberger art job--either in the form of a reprint or a new story.

For awhile there, in issues 172 through 180, Schaffenberger was the regular artist on the round-robin new material stories (alternating between Jimmy, Lois, and Supergirl). When the title went to all new material with issue 182, Kurt handled a number of different features, often doing two stories per ish. In no. 189, Kurt pencilled the first three stories in the issue, 34 pages, doing full art on the first page --which has the Superman Family gang gathered around a big cake wishing Superman "Happy Birthday! From the Superman Family" (as editor ENB notes Superman "first appeared in Action Comics # 1, June, 1938" and this was the May-June, 1978 issue of Superman Family)--and full art on the following Jimmy story, 13 pages. Oh yeah, Kurt also did the "Superman Family Circle" masthead for the lettercolumn.

With issue 195, May-June, 1979, Schwartz takes the editor's chair away from ENB, but this is also the first issue of Superman Family to spotlight "Mr.&Mrs. Superman", by ENB and Schaffenberger, the delightful series about the young marrieds on Earth 2, which would run for the remainder of the family title's life (the last issue being no. 222, September, 1982). On this series, rather than simply conforming to the continuity of Earth 2 or the 1940s, Bridwell and Schaffenberger were able to revisit the stories that were important in their own lives--if not actually using 50s and 60s stories (which according to strict comic geek math should be Silver Age, and on Earth 1) then at least giving their stories that same flavour. This was indeed the same Lois that Schaffenberger had illustrated so lovingly in the 50s and 60s.


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India Ink
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posted January 28, 2002 05:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for India Ink
By the 80s Schaffenberger's powers as an artist had not diminished one bit. I'm not sure why he cut back on art chores after the Crisis--I'd like to think it was out of choice--though looking years younger than his actual age, Kurt deserved to retire and rest on his laurels for a change--I'd hate to think it was simply because he couldn't get work. I can't imagine editors being so ignorant as to deny Schaffenberger the chance to do more of the good feeling work he had done all his life.

Talking about 80s Superman, "Mr. & Mrs. Superman" (which was mainly a feature of the eighties though it took place in the past) came to me as a blessing. After the Marvel Family, after Lois, after Jimmy, after Shazam! there was more that Kurt had to offer in this quiet but brilliant series. A new spring that brought back the old memories.

Along with his work on the revived Superboy series, Mr. & Mrs. stood out as a final testament to Schaffenberger's strengths on the last leg of his career.

It's quite something to contemplate all that was there in that little back-up feature. A last hurrah for E2 Superman before going into the dark night of Crisis. A last hurrah for Kurt. One of the last great things that ENB did before his death in '87.

A blessing indeed.

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India Ink
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posted February 07, 2002 07:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for India Ink
For more on Kurt, via AWODDC & Alan Asherman, visit the Backdoor to the 70s thread on Other Superman Topics...
http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/files/Forum89/HTML/001224.html

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Aldous
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posted February 10, 2002 01:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Aldous
quote:
My feeling, as I was reading them, was this it was sub-standard stuff.

Part of it was Curt Swan's artwork. It simply doesn't work for me. Too bland and two-dimensional. It had its good points, and everything I've read about Curt Swan indicates he was a cool guy, but that artistic style just bored me to tears.

Another part of it was the dialogue and the pacing of the stories. Just plain weak stuff. It had little oomph. It felt, in all honesty, like all the creativity had been drawn out of Superman a long time ago.

- Lildeath


Lildeath, I agree with you.

Today I re-read a comic from my collection. It's from the 70s (1978) but it's already demonstrating everything you are talking about - a veritable decline.

The story was "Super-Origin of Microwave Man" beginning in Action #487.

Your criticism of Swan's artwork has some validity - especially if you compare it to what it was just a few years before. I was amazed at how bad the art was in the story I've mentioned. The art didn't improve into the 80s... it declined further. Part of the problem was - and I realise all these things are up for debate, and I would like to hear what other posters have to say - Part of the problem was the inking of Frank Chiaramonte. I know nothing of Frank except for his large body of work inking Swan on Superman, and, in my opinion, this Swan-Chiaramonte work is the worst artwork I ever saw on Superman. It's horrible. Way below standard. But Swan's quality of work was also a shadow of its former self.

Where was the "Oomph" in Superman (as you put it)? What happened?

Progenitor, it's good to have an 80s thread, and I'll keep reading it - and supporting it when I can.

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India Ink
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posted February 10, 2002 04:54 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for India Ink
I don't remember Frank Chiaramonte's term on Superman being all that long--probably about the same amount of time as Vince Colletta's term, and certainly a lot better by comparison with Colletta.

Swan's art looked great most of the time when Anderson inked, looked awful when Colletta inked, looked much better and almost as good as Anderson when Oksner inked, and looked pretty good when Chiaramonte inked--in my own opinion.

And Chiaramonte inked some of the stories that I love best.

I'd say he was every bit as good as Romeo Tanghal. He was head and shoulders above Klaus Janson when Janson started out, inking Perez on Logan's Run. And the art overall was much better than Alex Saviuk's work on various features at the same time--or for that matter Trevor von Eeden's early work on Black Lightning.

And Frank was relatively young--everyone has to start somewhere--who knows how good he could have gotten if he hadn't DIED. Which he did during that not very long run on Swan--which is why his run was not so very long.

Anyway, sofar as Swan goes, I think we see changes in his style in response to the times.

His work in the fifties is standard fare. In the sixties it's cleaner, with more sci-fi details, and a more human look (Superman doesn't look like he's cut from stone).

In the early seventies we have much much bigger panels and more play of emotion.

But in the late seventies and early eighties, tastes had changed among comics fans. Panels on most books were smaller, more to a page, there wasn't as much emotion. In fact with guys like Byrne coming into the field, there was a much more cartoonish and simplistic look to the art. And look at Frank Miller's early work--scratchy little figures, lots of panels. None of this is anything like Neal Adams.

In the eighties, Swan changed yet again. His layouts were different and Al Williamson gave him a new look all over again.

While Williamson's approach might be unique--still he's Al Williamson! One of the great artists--I find it hard to be critical of his style.

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